Water
EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the “Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for cities to keep dumping raw sewage into rivers by letting them delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems.”  

Why This Matters:  The Obama Administration started the practice of giving cities a break on sewage overflows but according to officials from the prior administration, the bar was higher — a city had to demonstrate a hardship event like a natural disaster in order to get leniency.

Continue Reading 398 words
Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

The Trump Administration on Thursday made official a controversial rule to drastically limit the application of the Clean Water Act, finalizing its proposal that has been uniformly criticized by environmental groups and the agency’s own science advisors because it will lead to the contamination of groundwater, many intermittent water bodies, and drinking water supplies and the elimination of many wetlands. 

Why This Matters: They call it the “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule” but nothing could be further from the truth because now pollution can enter big waterways and the ocean from smaller ones and from wetlands that are no longer protected.  More pesticides, more PFAS, more chemicals, more waste — and we won’t know it because these discharges and wetlands destruction will all be “perfectly” legal.

Continue Reading 584 words
Texas Drought Forcing Ranchers to Cull Herds

Texas Drought Forcing Ranchers to Cull Herds

Texas ranchers are having to ask the tough question of whether they will have to cull their herds as much of the state continues to experience ongoing drought. As the grass dries out and ranchers face rising costs, it’s becoming less viable to maintain large herds of cattle and sheep in Texas Hill Country.

Continue Reading 343 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!

Some Dams Survive Through Inertia — Time to Take Them Down?

Some Dams Survive Through Inertia — Time to Take Them Down?

The removal of legacy dams, which were first constructed dozens to more than a hundred years ago, is proving to be increasingly popular to restore river flows now that they are no longer serving any purpose for generating power or driving industrial uses. 

Why This Matters:  There is no doubt that a free-flowing river is a healthy river.  As has been much discussed recently, the need to do everything we can to restore and conserve the natural world to stave off the next wave of extinctions and to combat climate change.

Continue Reading 538 words
President Trump Promises to Veto any Legislation Mandating PFAS Regulation

President Trump Promises to Veto any Legislation Mandating PFAS Regulation

The White House said in a statement that the President would veto any PFAS legislation because it would  “bypass well-established processes, procedures, and legal requirements of the Nation’s most fundamental environmental laws….”

Why This Matters:  So much for crystal clear waters.  The administration had promised that EPA would issue new regulations creating limits on PFAS contamination in rivers and drinking water by the end of 2019, but they failed to do so.

Continue Reading 478 words
Top Stories of 2019: PFAS Pollution Puts Drinking Water for Tens of Millions at Risk

Top Stories of 2019: PFAS Pollution Puts Drinking Water for Tens of Millions at Risk

The feature film “Dark Waters” exposed the scandal that Congress and the President are ignoring.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), PFAS contamination is now found at 1,361 locations in 49 states — and in a variety of sources including community water systems, groundwater sources, military bases, airports, and industrial sites. According to EWG’s analysis […]

Continue Reading 762 words
North Darfur Sees Peace Through Water Management

North Darfur Sees Peace Through Water Management

Darfur has seen more than its fair share of turmoil. Millions were forced to flee a decade of violence that killed as many as 400,000 and many people remain in refugee camps today. On top of this, the climate crisis is playing out in a very real way in the Sahel as the Sahara desert […]

Continue Reading 429 words
Agricultural Irrigation and Growing Cities Now Causing Water Shortages In Eastern U.S.

Agricultural Irrigation and Growing Cities Now Causing Water Shortages In Eastern U.S.

Farmers in the Eastern U.S. are increasingly turning to irrigation systems to ensure the predictability of their harvests — in Georgia irrigated farmland has increased fifteen-fold from 1960 to 2015, according to government records, and crop yields have soared.  But so have water disputes in the once water-rich states of the Southeast.

Why This Matters:  Eastern states are not ready for the coming water shortages — their laws and policies were written with water abundance in mind.

Continue Reading 423 words
Spring 2019 Floods Were BAD, Midwest Farmers Brace for More in 2020

Spring 2019 Floods Were BAD, Midwest Farmers Brace for More in 2020

This past spring more than 1 million acres of land flooded across five states in the Midwest.

However, now that it’s nearly winter, Midwest farmers are still very much feeling the effects of the floods and are worried about another round of flooding in 2020.

Continue Reading 362 words
New Film “Dark Waters” Based On True Story of DuPont Toxic Pollution

New Film “Dark Waters” Based On True Story of DuPont Toxic Pollution

A new environmental thriller called “Dark Waters” that opens in theaters later this week is already getting great reviews.  It is the passion project of its star, Mark Ruffalo, who wanted to make a film adaptation of a 2016 New York Times Magazine article by writer Nathaniel Rich entitled, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst […]

Continue Reading 223 words
Possible Lead Contamination in Water Problem Hits More Cities

Possible Lead Contamination in Water Problem Hits More Cities

New Orleans city officials, according to BuzzFeed News, buried a 2017 city Inspector General Report that showed that they had failed to test for lead in the water and they claimed that the City’s water was safe even though they were unable to locate the city’s many lead pipes — both of which they are required to do under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  And last week, water samples from 27 schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia were found to have levels of lead higher than industry safety recommendations.

Why This Matters:   Lead exposure is extremely bad for children.  According to the World Health Organization, children are “particularly vulnerable” to lead poisoning. Experts say that young children absorb 4-5 times more of the lead they ingest than adults, and high levels of lead in the bloodstream can adversely affect the development of their nervous systems and brains.

Continue Reading 599 words
Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

Investigation By Associated Press Reveals More Than 1600 Risky Dams in the U.S.

The results of a two-year investigation by the Associated Press (AP) were published this week and the findings were shocking — nearly 1,700 dams located in 44 states and Puerto Rico were rated as “high-hazard” dams that are in poor or unsatisfactory condition.  Experts believe the actual number of risky dams is even higher — […]

Continue Reading 440 words